How to Become a Nebraska Notary
The Nebraska Notary Process:
Are you interested in becoming a Nebraska notary? Are you interested in generating extra income, starting your own Nebraska notary business, adding a notary title to your resume, or helping people in your community? The State of Nebraska appoints notaries to serve the public as unbiased impartial witnesses to document signing. Becoming a notary in Nebraska is a straightforward process, and as long as you meet the eligibility requirements listed below, you can apply to become a Nebraska notary. The American Association of Notaries has been helping individuals become notaries since 1994.
This guide will help you understand:
- Who can become a Nebraska notary
- The process to become a Nebraska notary
- Basic Nebraska notarial duties
What are the qualifications to become a Nebraska notary?
To become a Nebraska notary public, a notary applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 19 years old.
- Be a resident of Nebraska or a person who resides in a state that borders Nebraska (if such person is employed in or has a regular place of work or business in Nebraska).
- Not have been convicted of a felony or crime involving fraud or dishonesty within the previous five years.
What is the process to become a Nebraska notary?
To become a Nebraska notary public, a notary applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Meet the eligibility requirements provided in the previous section.
- Request a test from the Nebraska Secretary of State’s Office.
- Pass a written take-home test to obtain a notary public commission.
- Answer all questions on the application form.
- Submit the following items upon passing the test:
- Initial Application for Notary Commission
- $15,000 surety bond
- United States Citizenship Attestation Form
- $30 commission fee (payable to: Nebraska Secretary of State or Notary Division)
- Evidence of Employment in Nebraska Form (non-residents only)
- Use this address to submit the application materials: Notary Division, P.O. Box 95104, Lincoln, NE 68509-5104.
All application materials can be found on the Nebraska Secretary of State’s website at https://sos.nebraska.gov/business-services/notary-public or click here.
Can a non-resident become a notary in Nebraska?
Yes. A non-resident may apply to become a Nebraska general notary public if the non-resident meets the following requirements (NRS §64-101 and 433 NAC 6.004.05). A non-resident must:
- Be a resident of Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, South Dakota, or Wyoming (433 NAC 6.004.05).
- Be employed in or have a regular place of work or business in Nebraska.
- Satisfy the same qualifications as Nebraska residents, setting aside the residency requirements.
- Submit an application form and follow the same application for appointment process and procedures as Nebraska residents, including obtaining a $15,000 surety bond and passing the examination administered by the Nebraska Secretary of State.
- Submit a notarized “Evidence of Employment Form” with his or her initial notary application.
- Submit a written explanation with the “Evidence of Employment Form.”
- Submit a written explanation attached to the “Evidence of Employment Form if the applicant is self-employed.
- Provide the street address, city, zip code, business address in Nebraska, a business work telephone number, and an email address (optional).
- Continuously be employed in or have a regular place of work or business in Nebraska.
- Relinquish his or her notary public commission if the non-resident notary is terminated from a regular place of work or business in Nebraska by returning the commission certificate and notary seal to the Nebraska Secretary of State.
How much does it cost to become a notary in Nebraska?
A Nebraska notary applicant’s expenses may include the following:
- A $30 filing fee to process an application for appointment or reappointment as a general notary public.
- The price for a $15,000 surety bond.
- The cost of an official ink stamp seal.
- The cost of a journal if the notary wishes to comply with the recommendations of the Nebraska Secretary of State to record all notarial acts in a journal.
- The fee for an E&O insurance policy if a notary wishes to purchase one for his or her personal protection against liability.
How do I renew my Nebraska notary commission?
A Nebraska notary public may apply for reappointment as a general notary public within thirty days prior to their commission expiration date. A notary public must complete a renewal application and follow the same application process and procedures as the initial application for appointment as a general notary public. A renewal application must include the following:
- Notary Public Commission Renewal Form
- A fee of $30
- A bond form or bond rider that updates the initial bond
- U.S. Citizenship Attestation Form
- Non-resident Evidence of Employment Form (non-residents only)
A renewal application that is received after the commission expiration date will be considered and processed in the same manner as a new application for such commission as a general notary public (NRS §64-104). Such process would require the renewing notary to pass the take-home examination again. All renewal application materials can be found on the main Notary page.
Are there any exams or notary courses required to become a Nebraska notary public or to renew my Nebraska notary public commission?
Yes. All new applicants seeking an appointment as a general notary public are required to pass the written take-home examination available and administered through the Secretary of State. The Notary Public Examination shall consist of questions relating to laws, procedures, and ethics, and it is intended to determine whether the applicant has the necessary knowledge, experience, and competency to engage in and perform the duties of a notary public. If the applicant fails to pass the first test, the applicant will receive a second test automatically. If the applicant does not pass the first two tests, the applicant must wait six months before requesting the third and final exam. If the applicant fails to pass the third test, the applicant will not be eligible to take the test again or receive a notary public commission. An applicant must score 85% or better to pass the exam. The written examination will be an open resources test sent to the applicant upon receipt of the $30 fee and a completed application. The passing exam score shall be valid for two years from the date of the examination. If a passing exam score is not used within two years, the applicant only has the remainder of prior attempts left to retake the exam (NRS §64-101.01 and 433 NAC 6.006). The mandatory examination is only available through the Nebraska Secretary of State. For additional information, go to the main Notary page.
Can I perform electronic notarization in Nebraska?
Yes. The Nebraska Legislature enacted the “Electronic Notary Public Act,” Sections 64-301 through 64-317, of the Nebraska Revised Statutes, which authorizes a notary public to obtain an electronic or digital signature and electronic seal to notarize electronic records in the physical presence of the individual seeking the notarization, effective July 1, 2017. In addition, the Nebraska Secretary of State adopted and promulgated rules and regulations (Electronic Notaries Public—Title 433, Chapter 7 in the Nebraska Administrative Code) to implement the Electronic Notary Public Act. Lastly, Section 86-638 (Uniform Electronic Transaction Act) states, “If a law requires that a signature be notarized, the requirement is satisfied with respect to an electronic signature if an electronic record includes, in addition to the electronic signature to be notarized, the electronic signature of a notary public together with all other information required to be included in a notarization by other applicable law.”
What is the process to become a Nebraska electronic notary public?
To be eligible to register as an electronic notary public, a person must (RSN §64-303):
- Hold a valid Nebraska notary public commission.
- Take a course of instruction approved by the Secretary of State before registering as an electronic notary public.
- Pass the Electronic Notary Exam.
The content of the course and the basis for the examination must include notarial laws, procedures, technology, and the ethics of performing an electronic notarization.
Before performing an electronic notarial act, a notary public must register with the Secretary of State in a manner prescribed by the Secretary of State (RSN §64-304):
- Submit an Electronic Notary Registration form with the Nebraska Secretary of State.
- Pay a $100 application fee.
- Specify, in the registration, the technology that will be used to perform electronic notarial acts. Such technology must be provided by an electronic notary solution provider approved by the Secretary of State.
- Sign and take the Notarial Oath (included in the application) before a notary public.
- Make sure the signature on the application is the signature the notary wishes to use when notarizing documents.
- Complete and submit an Evidence of Employment in Nebraska form (non-residents only).
- Wait for approval from the Secretary of State, who will issue an Electronic Notary Certificate of Registration.
The term of registration as an electronic notary public must coincide with the term of the commission of the notary public. An electronic notary public may renew his or her electronic notary public registration at the same time he or she renews his or her notary public commission.
The Secretary of State must approve the notary’s electronic seal and electronic signature, and such must be independently verifiable and unique to the electronic notary public. All Nebraska electronic notaries are required to maintain a journal for every electronic notarial act performed. To register as an Electronic Notary Public or if you have questions about completing the application, contact the Business Service Division—Notary online at email@example.com or call (402) 471-4425.
Can I perform remote (online) notarizations in Nebraska?
Yes. The State of Nebraska has enacted the “Online Notary Public Act” comprising of the online notarial act provisions, effective July 1, 2017. In addition, the Nebraska Secretary of State adopted and promulgated rules and regulations (Online Notaries Public) to implement the Online Notary Act codified in Title 433, Chapter 8, in the Nebraska Administrative Code, effective July 1, 2017. Nebraska notaries public are authorized to perform online notarial acts using communication technology that meets the standards (including credential analysis and identity proofing) adopted by the Secretary of State.
What is the process to become a Nebraska remote online notary public?
To be eligible to register as an online notary public, a person must (RSN §64-403):
- Hold a valid commission as a notary public in Nebraska.
- Take a course of instruction relating to online notarial acts approved by the Secretary of State by July 31, 2020 before registering as an online notary public.
- Pass the Online Notarization Exam.
- The content of the course and the basis for the examination must include notarial laws, procedures, technology, and the ethics of performing online notarial acts.
Before performing an online notarial act, a notary public must register with the Secretary of State in a manner prescribed by the Secretary of State (RSN §64-406). In addition to providing any additional information prescribed by the Secretary of State, the notary must:
- Submit an Online Notary Public Registration form to the Nebraska Secretary of State;
- Use, on the application, his or her legal name as it appears on his or her state driver’s license, identification card, or voter registration name (if no driver’s license).
- Submit a $50 filing fee.
- Specify in the registration the online notary solution provider he or she intends to use to perform online notarial acts. This online notary solution provider must be approved by the Secretary of State.
- Certify that he or she will comply with the standards developed under Section 64-407.
- Include an email address.
- Sign and take the Notarial Oath included in the application before a notary public.
- Make sure that the signature on the application is the signature he or she will use when notarizing documents.
The Secretary of State will issue an Online Notary Certificate of Registration upon approval. The term of registration as an online notary public must coincide with the term of the commission of the notary public. An online notary public may renew his or her online notary public registration at the same time he or she renews his or her notary public commission. An application to renew registration as an online notary public shall specify any change in the technology the online notary public intends to use to perform online notarial acts, and such technology must be provided by an online notary solution provider approved by the Secretary of State.
After the Secretary of State approves the notary’s registration form, the notary will be notified to register for the required course. (The course will be conducted via webinar.) Upon completion of the mandatory course, the notary will receive an exam by email. The notary will receive the Online Notary Commission Certificate via email after passing the examination. After the notary receives his or her Online Notary Commission Certificate, the notary will need to provide it to his or her approved solution provider. For questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. To perform online notarization, please refer to the Secretary of State’s website: https://sos.nebraska.gov/business-services/notary-public.
How long is the term of a notary public commission in Nebraska?
The commission term of a Nebraska notary public is four years commencing with the date specified in the notary public commission. However, a notary’s commission may be rendered void:
- By resignation, death, or revocation.
- When a notary public is no longer a resident of Nebraska during the notary’s commission term.
- When a non-resident notary ceases to have a regular place of work or business in Nebraska.
- When a notary public has been convicted of a felony or crime involving fraud or dishonesty.
Is a Nebraska notary bond required to become a notary in Nebraska?
Yes. A surety bond in the amount of $15,000 is required for all new applicants seeking an appointment as a general notary public and for renewing notaries public. The surety bond must be:
- Signed by an agent with an incorporated surety company as surety.
- Filed and approved by the Nebraska Secretary of State.
- Conditioned for the faithful performance of the duties of the office of notary public.
- Sworn to before a notary public (i.e. the applicant swears he or she will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of Nebraska and will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform the duties of the office of notary public).
“If any person shall be damaged or injured by the unlawful act, negligence, or misconduct of any notary public in his or her official capacity, the person damaged or injured may maintain a civil action on the official bond of such notary public against such notary public, and his or her sureties, and a recovery in such action shall not be a bar to any future action for other causes to the full amount of the bond” (NRS §64-109).
Do I need a Nebraska notary errors and omission insurance?
No. An errors and omissions insurance policy is optional in Nebraska. It is not mandatory to have E&O insurance when applying for appointment or reappointment as a general notary public. However, the American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that Nebraska notaries public obtain an errors and omissions insurance policy for their personal protection against liability. Errors and omissions insurance is designed to protect notaries from liability against unintentional notarial mistakes or omissions that result in financial or other types of loss to the public or from a client who sues for recovery. An E&O policy customarily covers legal fees and damages based on the coverage a Nebraska notary selects.
Where can I perform notarial acts in Nebraska?
A Nebraska notary public has statewide jurisdiction and may perform notarial acts in any county anywhere within the geographic borders of Nebraska (NRS §64-102). Likewise, a Nebraska notary public may not perform notarial acts outside of Nebraska.
Who appoints Nebraska notaries public?
The Nebraska Secretary of States receives applications for appointment and reappointment as a general notary public, electronic notary public, and online notary public and administers the commissioning process for all these commissions. To contact the Nebraska Secretary of State, use the following information:
Nebraska Secretary of State
Business Services Division
1201 N. Street, Suite 120
Lincoln, NE 68508
PO Box 95104
Lincoln, NE 68509-5104
Telephone: (402) 471-2558
Fax: (402) 471-4429
Do I need to purchase a notary stamp in Nebraska?
Yes. The Nebraska notary statute requires all notaries public to authenticate all official acts with an official ink stamp seal (NRS §64-210). Section 64-210 does not provide the legal specifications regarding the layout, ink color, shape, design, and measurements required on all official ink stamp seals.
Required Elements: The official ink stamp seal of a Nebraska notary public must include the following (NRS §64-210):
- The words "State of Nebraska”.
- The words “General Notary” or “General Notarial”.
- The name of the notary public as commissioned.
- The commission expiration date.
A notary must obtain a new official ink stamp seal each time the commission is renewed, and the new seal must include the new commission date. The official stamp seal should be secured and only accessible to the notary public regardless of whether or not another business or entity paid the notary application fee, bond, or seal (433 NAC 6.002.02). For Nebraska notary supplies, visit the American Association of Notaries website at www.usnotaries.com, call 800.721.2663, or click here.
Do I need an electronic notary stamp to notarize electronically in Nebraska?
Yes. The Nebraska notary statute states that an official seal shall be attached to, or logically associated with, the electronic document by the electronic notary public and shall be immediately perceptible and reproducible in the electronic document to which the notary public’s electronic signature is attached (NRS §64-309). The following requirements must be met (433 NAC 7.007):
- The electronic notary seal is to be Independently Verifiable and unique to the electronic notary public.
- The electronic notary seal is to be retained under the electronic notary public’s sole control.
- When the electronic notary public performs an electronic notarization, the electronic seal used by the electronic notary public is to be accessible by and attributable solely to the electronic notary public to the exclusion of all other persons and entities for the entire time necessary to perform the electronic notarization.
- The electronic notary seal is to be attached to, or logically associated with, the document, linking the data in such a manner that any subsequent alterations to the underlying document or electronic notary certificate are observable through visual examination.
- An image of the electronic notary public's electronic notary seal is to appear on any visual or printed representation of the electronic notary certificate regardless of the technology being used to affix the electronic notary public's electronic notary seal.
- The perimeter of the electronic notary seal is to contain a border such that the physical appearance of the seal replicates the appearance of an inked seal on paper.
The electronic notary seal is to have, within its border:
- The electronic notary public’s name exactly as commissioned.
- The words “Electronic Notary Public”.
- The words “Nebraska”.
- The commission expiration date.
Note: Electronic notaries are responsible for the security of their electronic notary seals and must not allow any other person to use their electronic notary seals. Access to an electronic notary seal is to be protected by the use of biometric authentication, password authentication, token authentication, or another form of authentication approved by the Secretary of State. An electronic notary public must report in writing to the Secretary of State within ten days after discovering the theft or vandalism of his or her electronic notary seal. Failure to report the theft or vandalism as required under Section 64-310 may result in the electronic notary public having his or her registration as an electronic notary public revoked.
Is a notary journal required in Nebraska?
No. The Nebraska notary statute does not require Nebraska notaries public to record all their notarial acts performed in a journal. While a notary journal is not required by state notary statute, the Nebraska Secretary of State and the American Association of Notaries highly recommend that Nebraska notaries record their official notarial acts in a journal in the event they need to recall the specifics of a particular notarization or they are legally challenged. The American Association of Notaries also recommends that Nebraska notaries maintain a permanent, paper-bound journal with numbered pages to create and preserve a chronological record of every notarial act performed as a protective measure against allegations of fraudulent notarial acts and official misconduct. To assist Nebraska notaries in recording their official acts, the Secretary of State has provided an example journal on its website: Notary Journal. For Nebraska notary supplies, visit the American Association of Notaries website at www.usnotaries.com, call 800.721.2663, or click here.
How much can a Nebraska notary charge for performing notarial acts?
Nebraska notary fees are set by rule adopted by the Nebraska Secretary of State (433 NAC 6.008.04). The maximum allowable fees that a Nebraska notary public may charge for notarial acts are listed below:
- For taking an acknowledgment - $5.00
- For administering an oath or affirmation - $2.00
- Verifications upon an oath or affirmation- $2.00
- For taking affidavits and seal--$2.00
- For each protest - $1.00
- For each notice of protest - $2.00
- For each certificate and seal - $5.00
Note: For each mile traveled in serving a notice of protest, a notary public may charge at the rate established by the State Department of Administrative Services.
What notarial acts can a Nebraska notary public perform?
A Nebraska notary public is authorized to perform the following notarial acts (NRS §64-107 and 433 NAC 6.001.07):
- Take acknowledgments.
- Administer oaths and affirmations.
- Take verifications upon oath or affirmation.
- Witness or attest signatures.
- Note protests of negotiable instruments.
- Take depositions.
- Issue summons and command the presence of witnesses for depositions in civil lawsuits (NRS §64-108).
How do I update my address for my Nebraska notary commission?
A notary public must notify the Secretary of State of any change of his or her residential address no later than 45 days after such address change (NRS §64-105.04). A notary public must update his or her address by completing and submitting the “Notary Public Request to Change Record” form provided on the Secretary of State’s website. The information provided on the change-of-address form must include the notary public's name as it appears on his or her commission, the date the commission expires, and the notary public's new address. Every notary public removing from the State of Nebraska shall notify the Secretary of State of such removal. Such a removal shall terminate the notary’s commission term (NRS §64-112). No fee will be assessed for updating address information (433 NAC 6.005.02B). To download this form, visit the Secretary of State website at https://sos.nebraska.gov/sites/sos.nebraska.gov/files/doc/form-notary-application-for-change-of-record.pdf.
Do I have to change my name on my notary commission in Nebraska?
Changing your name is optional. A Nebraska notary public whose name is legally changed during the term of the notary’s commission may continue to act under his or her original notary public commission, seal, and name until the expiration or termination of such commission. The bond given by such notary public shall continue in effect, regardless of such legal change of name, if the notary public uses the name under which the commission is issued (NRS §64-114). However, a notary public may change the name on his or her notary public commission by submitting to the Secretary of State the following items (433 NAC 6.005.04):
- A completed “Change of Signature or Name Application for a Notary Public” form.
- A new bond issued under the new name.
- A $30 fee.
Upon receipt of these items, the Secretary of State will assign the notary public a new notary public commission with a new expiration date. Then, the notary must purchase a new notary seal with the new name and the new commission expiration date. To download this form, visit the Secretary of State website at https://sos.nebraska.gov/sites/sos.nebraska.gov/files/doc/form-notary-application-change-of-name-or-signature.pdf.
Revised: September 2020
Legal disclaimer: The American Association of Notaries makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this page. Information this page is not intended as legal advice. We are not attorneys. We do not pretend to be attorneys. Though we will sometimes provide information regarding federal laws and statutes and the laws and statutes of each state, we have gathered the information from a variety of sources. We do not warrant the information gathered from those sources. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate laws governing your state. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of an attorney in their state if they have legal questions about how to notarize.
Notary bonds and errors and omissions insurance policies provided by this insurance agency, American Association of Notaries, Inc., are underwritten by Western Surety Company, Universal Surety of America, or Surety Bonding Company of America, which are subsidiaries of CNA Surety.